Hundreds of people convened in celebration of God’s faithfulness at Dundas Calvin Christian School’s 50th anniversary celebrations last weekend.
The celebration started in the afternoon on Saturday, May 26, with an open house, followed by a comedy in motion show by Bob Cates, a barbecue and a formal program. Approximately 700 people attended, including current and past families and staff members.
The program included congratulatory remarks from MP David Sweet, Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools director Jules de Jager, former principals John Stronks and Jack Zondag, long-time teacher Janet Miedema, principal Kevin Bouwers and 50th anniversary committee chair Case Vanderkruk.
Bouwers says the remarks covered the history of the school to the present and future.
He spoke about how the context in which students live, grow and learn is changing, as is what is expected of students, which means there needs to be an evaluation of how and what is taught and what needs to be done to keep hold of the school’s mission.
“If we look at that (mission) to realize our vision we want our students to be a relevant piece of our culture so that they can actively engage in transforming His world,” says Bouwers.
Following the program was a fireworks show, which Bouwers says was “phenomenal.”
On Sunday, a service of gratitude was held at Redeemer University College. The service was the culminating event, says Bouwers, and was moving for a lot of people.
“It was probably the most clearly I’ve felt God’s faithfulness to this community,” says Bouwers of the celebrations, adding this was through seeing generations come together and that the vision of the school realized in the people present.
He says it exemplified the Bible verse: “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
As he completes his first year as part of the school community, Bouwers says experiencing the strength of the community was extraordinary.
“I learned a lot,” he says. “You get to hear the stories of God’s faithfulness over and over again from the times of humble beginnings to the heart-warming stories … you get to see God’s hand in it all.”
Vanderkruk, an alumni and current grandparent at the school, says he thoroughly enjoyed every minute of chairing the anniversary committee and it has been a highlight in his personal life.
“I really sensed a coming together,” says Vanderkruk of the events, noting it was a great way for current parents to get a good understanding of Christian education’s purpose.
He says there was a sense of common camaraderie, that through tough economic times the school community unites to get through it.
“Hopefully this anniversary will really send the message out that we’re here for another 50 years,” says Vanderkruk.
“It was absolutely awesome, there’s no other word to even describe it. I’m still cloud nine.”